5 Tips for Rookie DIY Bike Mechanics

The 5 keys to making sure your home bike repairs don’t cost you


You ever had to spend $100+ on bike parts because you messed up? Believe me, it sucks. Some other things you could do with $100:

1. Take your girlfriend to an actually nice restaurant with cloth napkins and no ketchup squirt bottles, and thereby salvage your relationship.

2. Buy a round-trip flight to visit a friend on one of the ridiculously cheap and awful airlines (you won’t enjoy the flight, so make sure to choose someone who’s company you actually enjoy, not just because they live somewhere nice).

3. Buy a puppy. Literally. By saving $100 you could come home to this everyday:


Look at him…


What’s wrong with you. Save your money.




So in order to save you those valuable $100 that could literally change your life forever with the cuteness, we have compiled the key ways to prevent your at-home bike maintenance from going horribly wrong and costing you big. We will accept your thanks by petting your puppy:

Utilize your local bike co-op

Bike co-ops are the best. They offer cheap parts, classes to learn how to do things right (the first time), tools, and guidance on how to really figure out what you’re doing with your bike. Here, I’ll even help you find the bike co-op near you.

Have the right tools

A few basics are good to own yourself. The rest can be found at your local co-op. Go to the co-op.

Bike Tools

YouTube is your best friend

There are limitless good bike mechanic videos online that will walk you through everything you need to know. They should let you know what tools you’ll need at the beginning of the video. Most are less than 10 minutes long so watch the entire video once before touching your bike.

Bike How To's

Photo Courtesy Global Cycling Network

Be patient

Bikes are complicated. It’s easy to get frustrated. But, when you get frustrated, you start making mistakes, and when you start making mistakes, that puppy begins to slip from your grasp, and don’t you dare let that little puppy down!

So, when you start getting frustrated, just stop. Walk away from your bike, go eat something, watch an episode of Modern Family, unwind. Only once you’re good and calm should you come back and start from the top. Re-watch some YouTube videos and spend some time just looking at the bike. If you absolutely can’t figure it out, go to the co-op (or a bike shop) and ask for help.

Bike Mechanic Horror Show


Don’t call it good enough until it’s as good as it was before

Getting your bike to “good enough,” can quickly become “not good enough.” A small click or rub can become a bigger problem over time, so make sure that you fix your bike to be as good or better than it was before. You’ll improve your skills as a mechanic and keep your ride tip-top.